How to stand out as a job candidate

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How to stand out as a job candidate

How do you go about standing out to the hiring manager?
> Sending them muffins or chocolates?
> Creating a brochure-like cv with colors and shapes?
> Creating a powerpoint presentation or video of yourself and placing a link on your cv?
The above are some of the methods candidates have used to be “unique”. However, there are more subtle ways to go about this.

1. SHOWCASE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Give an outline of what you have successfully accomplished in your career – be it in the workplace or outside

2. RESEARCH THE COMPANY
Do your research and learn everything you can about the company. Prepare your cover letter and cv to show that you understand their business and their industry

3. Use of appropriate keywords in your cv
Use key words in your cv that will catch the recruiter’s attention. For example, if the ad says they are looking for a “self-starter,” ensure you include those words at the beginning of your cv or cover letter.

Most agencies use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to filter candidates and if your cv is scanned electronically by a potential employer, they look for certain keywords and the ATS will be able to either select you or discard you based on these. The keywords (usually verbs – doing words) they are look for will usually be included in the job advert, so carefully read through the job advert before sending your application

4. Presentation and skills
Develop your skills so that you are highly qualified for the job. Keep reading and furthering your studies.

5. Writing a great cover letter
Prepare a cover letter (or get one done professionally). Cover letters directed specifically at the recruiting manager where you’re applying make a great difference on your job application. This is an executive summary of who you are, what you’re capable of and what value you will bring to the company. This should not be more than 1 page

6. Prove your mettle
Have a cv that shows evidence that you will excel as an employee and are motivated and willing to learn. Ability to work with diverse groups (race, nationality, gender, background) as well as resilience under pressure will also work in your favour.

7. References
Have reliable references. The quality of your reference letter and referral speaks volumes about you. Whether its a referral on Linkedin or a written letter, get references from people that can outline your skills and qualities positively. If you’re not sure of your referee, either ask someone to call them and give a reference on you or alternately just don’t put that person you are unsure of

Careercity.co.za, for all your Career Tips, Job Listings and Advisory services

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